doctor who new year's special

Doctor Who has been changing things up all season, introducing new monsters, new universes, and a new sense of social relevance on top of the game-changing first female Doctor played by Jodie Whittaker. Showrunner Chris Chibnall has lived up to his promise that none of the classic monsters from the show’s 55-year run are showing up, though the writers started slowly introducing familiar elements in later episodes. But with the first Doctor Who New Year’s special, it seems that Chibnall is loosening up on his “no classic monsters” pledge and bringing back one of Doctor Who‘s most iconic monsters of all.

Doctor Who New Year’s Special Teaser: ‘Resolution’

Four syllables are all you need to instantly recognize the most famous Doctor Who monster: “Ex-ter-min-aaaate.” The Big Bad of the Doctor Who New Year’s Day special, titled “Resolution,” has been mostly kept under wraps but the latest Doctor Who New Year’s teaser reveals just who that monster will be.

“This is the DNA of the most dangerous creature in the universe…” the Doctor ominously says, before the teaser fades to black and we hear that iconic, robotic phrase: “Exterminate!” That’s right, the Daleks are coming back after not appearing as a central villain in Doctor Who since season 8’s “Into the Dalek” in 2014 (not counting that cameo from Rusty in “Twice Upon a Time.”)

First introduced in the 1963 Doctor Who serial “The Daleks,” this race of mutant aliens encased in metal shells have become as synonymous with the show’s iconography as its big blue box. The Daleks are the most frequently recurring villain throughout Doctor Who‘s run, which has resulted in them being somewhat overused, especially during Russell T. Davies’ later run and Steven Moffat’s early run. Beloved as they are by British children who have grown up with the show, they’re usually a hit-or-miss monster with newer Doctor Who fans — the only time they’ve felt genuinely terrifying to me was during the 2005 episode “Dalek.” Hopefully Chibnall can figure out a way to give them that veneer of terror again, and more than just a piece of merchandise.

The Doctor Who New Year’s special is set to air on BBC America on January 1, 2019. Read the synopsis below:

As the New Year begins, a terrifying evil is stirring, from across the centuries of Earth’s history. As the Doctor, Ryan, Graham and Yaz return home, will they be able to overcome the threat to planet Earth?

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